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In Praise of Prejudice

In Praise of Prejudice: The Necessity of Preconceived Notions by Theodore Dalrymple

In which the doctor takes up our prejudices against prejudice -- including the observation that although "racial" seems to be the normal prefix, it is only a small portion of the prejudices afloat.

As, for instance, a columnist he cites who pours contempt on the notion that there is anything wrong with a 13-year-old slum dweller becoming a mother when all she has ahead of her is the possibility of becoming a shelf-stacker in a supermarket.  Which, he notes, is merely replacing a prejudice against 13-year-old mothers with one against shelf-stackers, a lowly but useful and indeed necessary occupation, and one which does not trap the stacker into doing nothing else for life.

It roves about the topic, from the influence of John Stuart Mill, how progress springs from the accumulation of knowledge, the fondness of some souls for disaster and wickedness rather than a more generous view of history, but they all relate and illuminate the subject.
Tags: author: d, genre: non-fiction, review
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